The riddle and the chair: aesthetics, art and design in organizational life


Organizational aesthetics
Philosophical sensibilities


In this essay on aesthetics, art and design in organizational life, I will focus on the emergence of the aesthetic study of organization in the sociology of organization, organizational theories and management studies. This area of organization studies formed in the 1980s contributed, together with other new approaches to the study of organization, to the renewal of organizational studies with a European theoretical and methodological perspective. Four approaches articulate this new organizational perspective: the archaeological approach, the empathic-logical approach, the aesthetic approach, and the artistic approach. These approaches are crossed by the hermeneutic, aesthetic and performative philosophical sensibilities. They problematize the rational interpretations of organizations in order to bring into light features of organizational life that are comprehensible through aesthetics, such as the materiality of organization that, in this article, the riddle and the chair highlight thanks also to the visual interlude constituted by the photopoem Homage to Giò Pont”.